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Health Benefits of Using Cold Water Immersion and Sauna Together

Are you looking for a new way to improve your physical and mental health? Have you ever thought about combining cold water immersion and sauna treatments? If not, it’s time to give them a try!

Combining cold water immersion and sauna treatments is an ancient form of therapeutic practice that has countless advantages. Not only will you reduce stress and anxiety, but you will also enhance energy levels for a general sense of well-being. This combination provides optimum results in comparison to the individual therapies alone!

In this blog post, you’ll explore the health benefits of using cold water immersion and sauna treatments together, as well as provide some tips for getting started. So let’s dive in!

Cold Water Immersion and Sauna
Photo by Andrea Davis on Pexels.com

Combining Cold Water Immersion and Sauna

Cold water immersion, also known as a cold plunge or cryotherapy, is a practice in which you submerge your body in cold water for several minutes. Contrastingly, Sauna therapy, also known as far-infrared sauna therapy or FIR sauna therapy, is a type of hydrotherapy that involves sitting in a special room heated by infrared radiation from ceiling panels and walls.

The use of cold water immersion and sauna together is a great way to restore balance in your body, both physically and mentally.

Even though the temperatures may vary drastically between the two practices, they work synergistically to create overall health benefits. By going through hot and cold cycles in succession, you are stimulating both your body and mind, resulting in improved overall health.

Mechanism Behind the Health Benefits Of Using Cold Water Immersion And Sauna Together

Here are a few of the science-backed health benefits of using cold water immersion and a sauna together.

1.    Brown Fat and Weight Management

Cold water immersion triggers the production of brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat, which helps burn calories and regulate body temperature. This can help with weight management when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program. Sauna use has also been shown to reduce appetite, which may contribute to weight loss.

2.    Boosts Your Mood

Sauna bathing releases endorphins which can help boost your mood and energy levels. Jumping into a cold plunge or infrared sauna to help release some of those hormones and improve your mental well-being. The results of combining different types of treatment have compounding effects, so you’ll likely feel even better after doing something like this!

3.    Helps You Adapt and Become Stronger (Hormesis)

By combining hot and cold treatments, you can access the benefits of both to help you become stronger, more resilient, and better adapted. Hormesis is the body’s ability to handle a stressor and become stronger as a result. Cold water immersion and infrared sauna use expose your body to unusual temperatures giving it the opportunity to adapt and become more robust overall.

4.    Immune System Support

The combined use of cold water immersion and sauna has been shown to increase white blood cell counts, which can strengthen your body’s natural defenses. This can help protect against viruses and other illnesses.

5.    Improves Sleep

Taking a cold plunge before bedtime can help reduce your core temperature, making it easier to fall asleep quickly. Prolonged cold exposure can also help improve the quality of sleep you get each night, as well as increase your HRV and time spent in REM and deep sleep phases. Keep in mind that if you’re new to cold water therapy, you should experiment and see how it affects your sleep before making a habit of it.

6.    Improved Blood Flow, Muscle Recovery, and Skin Rejuvenation

The alternating temperatures of cold water immersion and sauna help improve your circulation. Cold water draws blood to the surface of the skin, which can reduce inflammation and speed up recovery from muscle soreness. The heat generated in a sauna helps oxygen-rich blood to reach deeper muscle layers, promoting better tissue healing.

Both of these practices help promote skin rejuvenation by increasing collagen production and decreasing the appearance of wrinkles.

How Long Should You Stay in a Cold Plunge and Sauna?

It is recommended to stay in the cold plunge for no more than 3 minutes and in the sauna for 15-20 minutes. Gradually increase your exposure time with each session. The optimal time frame is up to you, depending on your individual tolerance level to changes in temperature.

Moreover, if you want the ultimate experience from sauna bathing and cold plunging, scientific research shows that 11 minutes in the cold each week plus at least 57 minutes in a hot sauna is optimal. Metabolic specialist Susanna Søberg recommends this plan for maximum results.

Is It Healthy to Go from a Sauna to Cold Water?

Yes, it is healthy to go from a sauna to cold water as long as you follow the correct safety procedures. Make sure that you cool down slowly by using warm-to-cool transition temperatures and take breaks as needed. It is also important to keep in mind that your body needs time to adjust to changes in temperature, so don’t rush the process.

Cold Water Immersion and Sauna – Recommended Timing and Safety Considerations- Bottom Line

When it comes to cold water immersion and sauna use, there are some recommended guidelines to follow. Drink plenty of water before and after your session to replenish any lost fluids. Start with a warm shower before entering the sauna and cool down afterward.

Try starting with a couple of minutes in the cold plunge, followed by a few minutes in the heat. As your body adjusts, you can work up to longer periods of time. However, it’s important to never exceed the recommended lengths of time in each environment.

Ultimately, it’s essential to exercise caution when submerging yourself in icy water or entering a sauna. Before beginning any new health and wellness program, be sure to consult with your doctor first. Furthermore, if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure conditions – steer clear of both cold plunges and heat immersion entirely!

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